Tag Archives: Helen Zille

On how black anger and white obliviousness are used to foreground race in post-apartheid South Africa

My essay on how black anger, white obliviousness and the expedience of politics have foregrounded race in public dialogue in South Africa has just been published on Mampoer Shorts. It’s a 10,000-word “short”, so snazzy book-like cover aside, you should be able to read it in under two hours. It builds on an opinion piece I wrote earlier this year for the Daily Maverick at the height of debacle over Brett Murray’s ‘The Spear’. Read it, give me your thoughts, and if I haven’t died of shame from the self-promotion I’ll be engaging in during the coming weeks, consider me immortal. Also, in that instance, let me know if you’d like to be involved in a follow-on project I’ll be doing along the same theme next year. But for now, here’s an excerpt. The full essay is available on Mampoer for $2.99. Continue reading

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Was the Truth and Reconciliation Commission one of the worst things to happen to South Africa?

The somewhat controversial idea that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) was one of the worst things to have happened to South Africa certainly isn’t mine nor is it new, but I am starting to see the rationale behind that thinking. One of the biggest criticism, not just of the TRC but of the entire democratic transition and the subsequent creation of the post-apartheid rainbow nation ideal, is that they fostered the false perception that all the hard stuff was out of the way now and that South Africa had, from thenceforth, become a non-racial state. The perception was false because South Africa was still the same racially divided country it had been before, except that, now, nobody was doing anything about the racial rifts because it was believed to have already been done. Continue reading

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